Canadian stocks will look to carry over positive momentum from a late rally in the previous session Thursday morning as traders weighed a slew of earnings news from across the border, including results from Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase.
On Wednesday, the S&P/TSX Composite Index added 14.49 points or 0.15% to end at 9,246.11, inching back toward a 3-month high from earlier in the week.
Dominating the headlines this morning, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) reported first-quarter net income of $2.14 billion, compared to net income of $2.37 billion in the first quarter of 2008. Earnings per share were $0.40, compared to $0.67 in the first quarter of 2008.
Tembec Inc. (TMB.TO) said Wednesday that its subsidiary, Tembec USA LLC, sold its idled coated paper mill located in St. Francisville, Louisiana to West Feliciana Acquisition, LLC. The mill was indefinitely idled in July 2007.
Cangene Corp. (CNJ.TO) said that the Chemical Biological Medical Systems Project Management Office of the United States Department of Defense has signed an agreement to purchase Cangene's Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human).
On the economic front, Canadian manufacturing sales increased 2.2% to $42.9 billion, the first increase since July 2008, according to Statistics Canada. Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries in Ontario were behind most of the gains in February, following widespread slowdowns and shutdowns in January. Excluding motor vehicles and parts and accessories, manufacturing sales edged down 0.2%, the seventh monthly decline in a row.
Constant dollar manufacturing sales, which are measured in 2002 prices, rose 2.6% to $39.4 billion in February. This was the first increase in constant dollar sales since September 2008.
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